Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Tea service, ca. 1888
    Tiffany & Company (American, 1837–present)
    Silver, silver–gilt, enamel, ivory; 97.1.1: Overall 4 3/4 x 10 7/8 x 5 3/16 in., 393 grams (12.1 x 27.6 x 13.2 cm, 12.635 troy ounces); 97.1.2: Overall 2 7/8 x 5 3/8 x 3 1/8 in., 276.3 grams (7.3 x 13.7 x 7.9 cm, 8.883 troy ounces); 97.1.3a,b: Overall 1 11/16 x 4 1/2 x 3 1/8 in., 116.4 grams (4.3 x 11.4 x 7.9 cm, 3.742 troy ounces); 97.1.4: Overall 5/8 x 5 in., 47 grams (1.6 x 12.7 cm, 1.511 troy ounces)
    Gift of a Friend of the Museum, 1897 (97.1.1–4)

    During the 1880s, Tiffany & Company favored enamels over mixed metals to achieve polychrome effects. The ornament on this tea service, described as "Persian" in the Tiffany factory books, is clearly derived from Near Eastern art in both its brilliant colors and its floral and calligraphic motifs. This jewel-like "tête-à-tête," as it is called in the Tiffany archives, may also have been inspired by Russian and French enameled silver. Tiffany's head designer, Edward C. Moore, who assembled an important collection of Near Eastern and Asian art, probably designed the service. On each object, the richness of the enameling is heightened by the delicately etched and gilded interior. The owner also had the initials CHA and the date 1897 etched on all four pieces. An anonymous donor presented it in 1897 to the Metropolitan Museum, using Tiffany & Company as an intermediary.

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  • Tea service, ca. 1888
    Tiffany & Company (American, 1837–present)
    Silver, silver-gilt, enamel, ivory; 97.1.1: Overall 4 3/4 x 10 7/8 x 5 3/16 in., 393 grams (12.1 x 27.6 x 13.2 cm, 12.635 troy ounces); 97.1.2: Overall 2 7/8 x 5 3/8 x 3 1/8 in., 276.3 grams (7.3 x 13.7 x 7.9 cm, 8.883 troy ounces); 97.1.3a,b: Overall 1 11/16 x 4 1/2 x 3 1/8 in., 116.4 grams (4.3 x 11.4 x 7.9 cm, 3.742 troy ounces); 97.1.4: Overall 5/8 x 5 in., 47 grams (1.6 x 12.7 cm, 1.511 troy ounces)
    Gift of a Friend of the Museum, 1897 (97.1.1-4)

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